Dealing with life is a piece of cake.

Posts tagged ‘peanut butter’

Ho Ho Hoooly moly it’s already Christmas?!

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Where has the year gone? Seriously. Are you hiding it? Or did I blink and it just completely disappeared into the universe?

Probably the later. If it’s the first one, you’re probably waaay too good at hide-and-seek.

The holiday season is upon us, people. It’s not just upon us, it’s straight up in our faces. And I am toootally not prepared. Well, sort of.

I mean, I still have shopping to do, I haven’t listened to my all-time favorite Christmas music (Bing Crosby, in case you were wondering), and the fact that I WANT to work on Christmas day is probably a sign that I have not embraced the holiday spirit.

BUT! There are a few things that have brought me out of this funk.

1. I’ve been spending time with a lot of excellent, grade-A, top-notch people lately. I didn’t even realize how much I was running around until my roommate pointed it out to me. Which brings me to my second point…

2. My roommate. She’s been there for me every step of the way through a rough time. If I say “I don’t want to talk about it” she’ll totally respect it, even though she’s dying inside to know what’s going on, but she knows any second I’ll open my big mouth, like I always do, and spill everything. She’s wonderful. Love you Bri.

3. I didn’t have ONE Christmas decoration up…including a tree. I ALWAYS have a tree. ūüė¶ How sad is that? Well after opening my big mouth, like I always do, I received a small tree as a gift the very next day. If that doesn’t take you from a Scroogasaurs to freakin’ Rudolph, I don’t know what will.

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My perfect Kate-sized tree. ūüôā

4. I’m spending Christmas at my grandma’s house. I love her. She’s cool. It’s a plain, obvious fact. That alone will put me in a good mood. But there’s one more thing….

5. I made Tiger Butter!

In a world of jam-packed department stores, bumper-to-bumper freeways, and the complications of trying to get the stripes on the wrapping paper to match up¬†perfectly, (…no? Just me?) what we all need is something¬†simple. And this my friends, is just the trick.

Tiger Butter: Three ingredients. 1 hour. Lifetime of happiness.

Kind of like that “teach a man to fish” saying…

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Tiger Butter

1 1/2 cups white chocolate

1 (heaping) cup creamy peanut butter

1 1/2 cups milk chocolate

You can do this two ways. You can either melt the chocolate in the microwave, or use a double-boiler to melt the chocolate. If you choose the double-boiler, be sure to stir the entire time so you don’t burn it. I do it the microwave method, because I’m lazy and I want to eat this before I even begin to make it.

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate in 45-second increments until smooth, being sure to stir thoroughly between increments.

3. Repeat with milk chocolate.

4. While the milk chocolate is melting and the white chocolate is still hot, stir the peanut butter into the white chocolate until completely smooth.

5. Pour the melted milk chocolate onto the prepared cookie sheet and spread evenly.

6. Drizzle the white chocolate/peanut butter mixture on top of the milk chocolate, being sure to reach the corners and edges.

7. Run a butter knife through the chocolate to create the swirl pattern. There’s no “right” way to do this, but if you go horizontally and then vertically you’ll probably get the results you’re looking for.

8. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. Once the chocolate is set, you may cut it, or just break it into jagged pieces. It all tastes the same – delicious!

9. Eat it all and don’t tell anyone. (No? Just me again? I should really learn not to open my big mouth…)

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Bon Appétit! (and Happy Holidays!)

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I have a big mouth…ful of PB&J cookies.

Want to play a game? It’s the silent game. Whoever talks first, loses. Ready…go!

……..

Okay, I lose. I’m terrible at the silent game. Always have been, always will be. I’m an over-sharer.

Don’t want to hear my story about my windshield wipers? Most wouldn’t. And although I don’t really blame you, I’ll probably end up shoving that C+ story in your ears anyway.

The thing about me, though, is if you listen to my nonsense stories…like how a child in my neighborhood saw me, screamed, and ran away (for no reason…it was broad daylight!)…I’ll listen to your stories about the brand of mustard you used on the turkey sandwich you made for lunch yesterday. And if I love you…then I will actually care about it. Weird, I’m so, so weird.

But when I stop hearing about your turkey sandwiches, I’ll go into nonsense overload. I’ll ramble. I’ll end up telling someone else about the hilarious thing Kitten did a week and a half ago (she stared at a giant Hello Kitty balloon as if it was an impostor). They won’t care. They won’t acknowledge, tolerate, or humor the obsession I have with my cat. Why? Because they’re not you. And if I may be blunt here, their nonsense is nowhere as interesting as your nonsense.

“Kate…you’re rambling.” <– What you’re probably thinking.

And you’re right. I can’t even try to deny that. But my rambling is the infrastructure of the blog that is Sugar Therapy.

Well that, and these Brown Butter PB&J cookies.

Remember when you were in first grade, and your mom packed your lunch? The contents were typically of the following:
– a good ol’ PB&J
– pudding cup
– veggie sticks
– Capri Sun
– a note, that for some reason, all the girls at the lunch table wanted to hear every day. No? Just me?
Perhaps that’s where my need to share things came from…

These cookies taste like Mom’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I’m not exaggerating. They’re childhood, in the shape of two-and-a-half inch circles.

I had a “take 2” moment while making these. First batch…meh. While they came out the way I imagined: small, bite-sized, and delicious, I decided to add 2 tablespoons of water to moisten the cookies so they would spread a little.

Twas a good decision indeed. I’m sure you’ll agree when you make them and taste for yourself.

Relive your first grade lunch. Tell someone a meaningless story. Eat these cookies. Then tell someone about them, because, you know, that’s what we do.

Brown Butter Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

1 1/3 cup flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp water
Jam of your choice. (Strawberry is always my choice.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a saucepan, heat butter over medium-high until it begins to turn golden in color. Once simmering, allow to continue for about 30 seconds, stirring consistently so the butter doesn’t burn.

4. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until combined.

5. Beat in egg, vanilla and peanut butter until combined.

6. In two portions, add flour mixture and beat on medium high until combined.

7. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time to moisten.

8. Form 1 1/2 inch balls of dough, and create an indentation with your thumb.

9. Bake for 11-12 minutes and let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes to set. Transfer cookies to cooling rack.

10. Once cooled, dollop jam in the middle of each cookie.

11. EAT!

Bon appetit! 

I’m not letting the chips fall where they may.

There are so many things I want to accomplish in this adorable little life I’m living.

Learn how to surf.

Master the art of cooking pasta. (You may think it’s simple, but for me, it’s not. I’m a baker. Not a cook.)

Muster up enough courage to sing at a karaoke bar. (Liquid courage is not out of the question on this one…)

Move to another city, state, town, planet…somewhere. Anywhere.

Learn another language (or six). Italian would be awesome. French would be even cooler. Maybe I’ll master some ancient African language. I can’t imagine it would ever come in handy…but you never know.

Make one of those really awesome melted crayon paintings you see on Pinterest. You know what I’m talking about. (and you know you want to make one too.)

I want to sew a dress, knit a scarf, patch some jeans…something domestic that would put my dusty sewing machine to good use.

Learn how to swing dance. I can’t imagine that being rhythmically tossed around like a doll is a bad time.

Publish something. Whether it be a cookbook, novel, or a children’s book…I want my words out there, in print. There’s something so official and wonderful about it.

I want to be able to spell “Wednesday” without having to think of it as¬†wed-nes-day.

Same goes for Feb-RU-ary.

And finally, bake a cupcake with chocolate chips that don’t sink to the bottom.

Well wait just a doggone baker’s dozen minute here…I just did that!

I made banana chocolate chip cupcakes. I put some Tiger Butter buttercream on top.

For those of you who don’t know what tiger butter is…it’s my favorite candy in the fudge category. Peanut butter and chocolate. I’m all about it. You should be too.

Fresh out of the oven, they fit the description of a muffin. A perfectly warm, melty, banana scented muffin. I would not judge you if you decided to nix the frosting and try to get away with having these for breakfast. They have bananas! It could work.

Told ya.

That’s something I seriously considered. In fact, I’ll probably whip these up as muffins in the future, but for the sake of the blog and the fact that I do love buttercream and decorating cupcakes, I moved forward. I’m glad I did.

These are seriously the bomb.com. Even when they’ve cooled, you get a perfect amount of banana flavor. Crazy. I was worried they’d come out too…potassium-y. It’s a thing.

Oh and the secret to having the chocolate chips not fall to the bottom? Lightly coat them in flour before you add them to the batter. Who knew?!

Well actually…Google knew.

These week’s theme for the Event Blossom party kits is Jungle Safari! Check out what Kim did with the other great stuff in this wild kit here.

This theme was the main reasoning behind the banana flavor this week. Jungles have animals. One of the animals you can find in the jungle is a monkey. Monkeys eat bananas, and so do I. Hence, this cupcake was born.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Tiger Butter Buttercream

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 ripened bananas, mashed
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake wrappers.

2. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in medium bowl until well combined. Set aside.

3. Beat butter on high until light and smooth.

4. Beat in sugar until fluffy.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.

5. Beat in vanilla until combined.

6. Beat in bananas well. Make sure it’s completely incorporated.

7. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the half and half. Beat until just combined.

8. Toss the chocolate chips in a little bit of flour. You may use a ziplock bag and shake it around or be fancy and toss ’em around in a bowl.

9. Fold the chips into the batter.

10. Fill cups 3/4 full and bake for approx. 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

11. Try one without frosting. I dare you to tell me it isn’t amazing.

Tiger Butter Buttercream

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
4 tsp vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted

1. Beat butter until fluffy and pale yellow. About 2 minutes.

2. Beat in powdered sugar in increments, until desired consistency begins to form.

3. Add vanilla.

4. Transfer half of the buttercream to another bowl.

5. For one half, add the cocoa powder until completely combined.

6. For the other half, add the peanut butter until completely combined.

To create the swirl effect

3 pastry bags (or ziplock bags)

1. Put a small amount of each frosting in its own bag. Cut the corner off the bottom.

2. Cut the corner off of the third bag, and set up with desired decorating tip.

3. Place both of the frosting bags in the third bag, so the cut-off corners are feeding into the third bag’s tip.

4. Gently squeeze the bag, and do a few test runs to make sure it comes out even.

Voila! Gorgeous decorating that will impress anyone.

Bon appétit!

I found the cure for tofuphobia!

I find tofu scary. It’s just weird. I’m sure you agree. It absorbs any flavor you put with it, which is…odd. I have a hard time trusting food that doesn’t have a flavor of its own. Even the name sounds sketchy…tofu. Yeesh.

As a vegetarian, you’d think that I would be more accepting of the flavor-mooching food, but alas, time and time again I have a hard time getting myself to suck it up and eat it. There are a few dishes I’ve had at restaurants containing tofu that were nothing short of excellent…but when it comes to baking I’m nothing short of skeptical.

BUT…fear not, fellow bakers with tofuphobia! I have a wonderful, delicious recipe for you. Sure, it contains tofu, but once you get past that, you notice that it also contains great things like peanut butter and chocolate!

I made these little vegan treats for the birthday of a very dear friend of mine. She’s a recent college graduate from the University of Alabama, relocated across the country to Seattle, got herself a job, and was then accepted to the University of Washington School of Law. This girl’s got it goin’ on! For several years she’s shared my interest in unconventional lifestyles and beliefs (vegetarianism and Buddhism, for example) so I knew she’d appreciate a delicious vegan cookie. ūüôā

And they are delicious. Let me tell you. Right out of the oven?

Yes. Freakin’. Please.

Set your tofu fears aside. Make these. Don’t tell people there is tofu in them until after they eat it. Yes, it’s kind of a dirty trick, but sometimes it’s fun to play tricks on people. And how dirty of a trick can it be if it involves eating cookies, right?!

Vegan Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter and Cinnamon

from Joy the Baker

1 stick vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup soft tofu, drained
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat the margarine, brown sugar, and tofu in a large bowl until completely smooth.

3. Add the peanut butter and vanilla.  Stir to combine.

4. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

5. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir to combine.

I made the dough a day in advance, covered it, and put it in the refrigerator overnight.  You may bake them ASAP, though.  Regardless of when you bake them, this is how you do it:

6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and plop heaping tablespoons of dough about 1 1/2 – 2 inches apart.

7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and either EAT right away (yum), or let them cool on a wire rack and send them to a very deserving birthday girl!

Have your cake and eat it too…with cookies…and peanut butter.

I did something fabulously sinful.

It was dirty.

It was wrong.

It was down-right filthy.

I want to tell you about it, but even the thought of it makes me blush. ¬†Brace yourselves, and cover your children’s eyes…

What the h-e-double hockey sticks is this?! ¬†Well for starters, it’s a cupcake…duh. ¬†More questions? ¬†No problem, I have answers.

Yes, that’s a chocolate cupcake. ¬†Yes, it’s filled with peanut butter cookie dough, and yes, that’s cookies n’ cream cream cheese frosting. ¬†Your questions are oddly specific – smarty pants!

I’m in love with the idea of filling cupcakes. As if cupcakes weren’t great enough on their own (which they totally are), some genius had to go along and just cut a hole in one and put more sugary goodness inside! ¬†Man, I wish I was that innovative.

Boom. ¬†It’s like magic. ¬†Corer goes in, twist, the cupcake comes out. ¬†Looking for a cupcake corer? ¬†You can find one at Williams-Sonoma. ¬†You can find one elsewhere, but if you get it there you also get to browse around at all of the nifty things they have! ¬†Win.

This cupcake is simple – if you like Oreos, you’ll enjoy this. ¬†If you like peanut butter cookies, you’ll enjoy this. ¬†If you like chocolate cake, you’ll enjoy this.

I’m only keeping your marvelous taste buds in mind when I make these things, you know.

The chocolate cake recipe is easy as pie. ¬†The cookie dough isn’t really cookie dough (for baking) at all, considering it doesn’t contain any of the stuff that will make you sick if you eat it raw. ¬†So if you’re feeling hungry during baking (which, hellooo, always happens), you may nibble. ¬†What am I saying?! ¬†Was I just rationing your cookie dough intake? ¬†I’m sorry. ¬†Don’t nibble…you can munch. By the spoonful, if you feel so inclined. (Not by the handful though, let’s keep it classy, people!) ¬†I won’t judge you. ¬†I’ll just grab a spoon and help you polish the bowl off. ¬†Then I’ll go halfsies with you at the grocery store when we’re buying new ingredients to remake the dough.

Do I sense a vicious cycle?  Nahhh.

Well okay yeah maybe a little bit…

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cookies n’ Cream Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes
recipe slightly adapted from Organic and Chic

2 1/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup veggie oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp coffee
2 cups cold water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pans.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. Whisk vanilla, oil, vinegar, and water in a separate bowl.

4. Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry, being careful not to overmix. It is not a thick batter that most recipes produce. This is a-okay.

5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full, and bake for 20-24 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

6. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely. Place them in the freezer until you’re ready to assemble.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2-3 tbsp peanut butter (to taste…if you really like peanut butter, like me, you’ll use 3ish going on 4.)
1 tbsp Oreo crumbs (finely ground)

1. Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy.

2. Beat in peanut butter, and stir in vanilla.

3. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and Oreo crumbs until thoroughly combined.

4. Pour dry mixture into the wet mixture, stirring until completely combined. Feel free to add chocolate chips or larger cookie chunks if you’re feeling extra indulgent.

…ASSEMBLY…

1. Core the frozen cakes using a cupcake corer or small spoon.


–> Why frozen? Less crumbs and easier to handle. Plus really cold chocolate cake is heavenly. And what else are you going to do with those miniature cylinders of cake? Throw them out? I’ll disown you. Just kidding, I could never do that. But I will give you the silent treatment for a good 5 minutes. Oh yes, I’ll go there.

2. Transfer the cookie dough to a frosting bag or ziplock bag and cut a small bit off the corner of the bag, as if you were about to frost a small cupcake.  The hole should be about the size of a dime.

3. Squeeze dough in the center of the cupcakes until they’re full. You’ll know when that is, because it will start to overflow at the top. After a few you’ll get a feeling of when they are full and you’ll have less spillage (not that a little overflow of cookie dough is a bad thing).

Peanut Butter Cookies n’ Cream Cream Cheese Frosting
(this is enough to liberally frost 24 cupcakes)

16 oz cream cheese
5 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 – 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup crushed Oreos

1. Beat cream cheese, peanut butter and vanilla until combined.

2. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat just before you’ve reached desired consistency.

3. Add crushed Oreos and combine on high until thoroughly combined and frosting is a thick consistency.

4. Do yo thang and frost them cupcakes!

Bon appétit!